1957 - The Kansas City Athletics ship pitchers Art Ditmar, Bobby Shantz, and Jack McMahan, and infielders Clete Boyer, Curt Roberts and Wayne Belardi to the Yankees. In return they receive pitchers Mickey McDermott, Tom Morgan, Rip Coleman and Jack Urban, OF Irv Noren, plus infielders Billy Hunter and Milt Graff. Roberts didn’t go to New York City till May 4, while Boyer went a month later. Hunter and Urban don’t switch until April 5. The veteran Shantz and Boyer will be valuable pickups for New York, with Shantz leading the American League in ERA this year, and Boyer a tough defensive 3B for eight years in pinstripes. The A’s will eventually admit that when they signed Boyer for a $40,000 bonus in 1955, it was on behalf of the Yankees, with the understanding that they’d later ship him to NY.
A now-dated Baseball Almanac essay took a look at the KC-NYY underground “shuttle” with a particular focus on the 1955-60 seasons, though it was in effect for a good part of the 1950′s and 60′s.
The previous-outted users gave us the following:
- McGwire: refusal to acknowledge followed by a life in seclusion.
- Bonds: reliance on the “unknowingly” clause. Plus refusal to admit in public what he admitted under oath, followed by continued arrogance, exacerbated by a nagging perjury charge for lying under oath.
- Giambi/LoDuca: sorry about doing something, but won’t mention “it” by name for fear of voiding big money contract.
- Clemens: steadfast denials, aggressive press conferences, hand-selected interviewer for TV interview, ending up on Capital Hill, getting ripped by our Nation’s fine representatives, possibly ending up in a Bonds-esque perjury hangup.
- Palmiero: Wag finger in Congress’ face, then get busted a few weeks later. Fade to black
- Others: Silence
- Others: Unknowingly, ignorance
- Others: Mislabeling of products
- Others: No hablo Ingles
- Canseco: Embracing of the truth and shouting it from the mountaintops. Publish book(s)
- Caminiti: Admit it and discuss it, but not actively assist MLB in identifying or fixing the problem.
In addition to “Most intriguing spring stories” for each league, here are some of the results of his unscientific polling:
Most improved teams (NL)
Most improved teams (AL)
Most unimproved teams (NL)
Most unimproved teams (AL)
Worst free-agent signings
I’ll add this whole section since I LOVE this sorta thing:
- Mets get Santana for a sprint champ who might never hit (Carlos Gomez) and three pitching prospects who might never win as many games combined as the 93 Santana won for the Twins all by himself.
- Tigers get a 24-year-old four-time All-Star (Cabrera) and a 26-year-old two-time All-Star (Willis) from the Marlins for two tremendous prospects (Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller), plus four deal filler-outers who include one minor leaguer (pitcher Burke Badenhop) who’s actually older than Cabrera.